Rough gemstones are, as their name suggests, stones delivered in their natural state before they’re cut or polished into shape. Because rough gemstones aren’t yet stylized, they can be cut and shaped into any design the jeweler or owner desires.
This makes them a popular choice for someone looking to create a unique, one-of-a-kind piece. Because of this, rough gemstones are usually bought by jewelers, jewelry designers and buyers who want a custom-piece made.
Typically, the texture is rough and the stone is unfinished, bearing little resemblance to the polished brilliance of a cut stone. Because cut can have a lot of bearing on a stone’s value, rough Amethyst gemstones tend to be cheaper than their finished counterparts. However, while there’s an opportunity to save money when purchasing rough stones, there’s also a need to protect yourself as a consumer.
To learn some basic tips on how to buy rough gemstones, keep reading.
1. Only use reliable sellers.
Because the uncut market is more open, it’s easier to find yourself dealing with unknown sellers. Instead, always deal with rough stone retailers who are respected, accredited, knowledgeable and trusted. If you’re unsure, ask a trusted jeweler or appraiser for a recommendation.
2. Be prepared to negotiate.
While you’ll still be subject to market standards, there is definitely room for negotiation in the rough gemstone market. Never settle for the asking price, but remember to keep your negotiations fair and within a realistic industry range.
3. When purchasing online, look for reputable sellers.
There are a number of online rough gemstone sellers, but the online marketplace can sometimes make it too easy to sell goods that sometimes aren’t as valuable as they seem. Instead, look for retailers who offer clear refund policies, independent appraisal systems and even escrow payments that depend on your own testing with an appraiser whom you choose.
4. Bring an appraiser with you.
Don’t be afraid to enlist private help by hiring an appraiser for a few hours to accompany you when making a rough stone purchase. Despite the expense, you could wind up saving yourself thousands of dollars in the long run.
5. Remember the extra cost associated with design and cutting.
While many stone buyers think they’re getting a deal by purchasing rough stones, they often forget the high costs associated with a skilled cutting and polishing job. Remember, a stone’s value can be both enhanced or depreciated depending on how its cut, so it’s important to hire a skilled and experienced cutter or jeweler. That, of course, will cost you more, but it will be worth the extra amount to obtain a professionally cut stone.